EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — The Patriots bounced back from two straight losses with an identity-defining victory against the Jets at MetLife Stadium, and there was a lot more to it than the 37-16 victory suggests.
Let’s break out the first set of passing grades since before the bye week.
Jeff Howe: A
They posted 30 points against the Jets for the second time this season. That is not an accomplishment that should be taken lightly.
Jeff Howe: A-
It wasn’t perfect by any means, but they did it without safety Patrick Chung, linebacker Brandon Spikes and cornerback Devin McCourty (for two-plus quarters). And linebacker Rob Ninkovich sealed the game with a pick-six in the fourth quarter.
Jeff Howe: A-
Stephen Gostkowski‘s 50-yard field goal put the Patriots on the board and looked even bigger after Nick Folk missed a short one on the other end. And for the most part, they contained kick returner Joe McKnight.
Jeff Howe: A- I thought the newest defensive adjustment might have been the smartest thing they’ve done this season, using a four-man line combination of Andre Carter, Brandon Deaderick, Vince Wilfork and Mark Anderson. The Jets weren’t prepared to counter it.
Jeff Howe: C- At what point do you stop crediting the Patriots in order to slam the Jets? It’s a tough question, but at the very least, the Jets’ turnovers were a killer.
Jeff Howe: Andre Carter
He set a team record with 4.5 sacks, so that’s pretty good.
Jeff Howe: Brandon Deaderick
He played defensive tackle in the four-man line for an extended amount of time for the first time in his NFL career. He didn’t record a single statistic, but he was part of the game plan that propelled the defense.